Rep. Walden: Obama's 'You Didn't Build That' 2012's Joe the Plumber Moment

Saturday, 04 Aug 2012 09:19 AM

By Henry J. Reske and John Bachman

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Barack Obama’s “you didn’t built that” comment opens a window into the president’s thought process and reveals that he really doesn’t understand how business works, leading Republican Rep. Greg Walden, tells Newmax.TV.

Walden, deputy chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, noted in an exclusive interview that when he worked in small market radio and problems arose, the government did not run to his rescue.

“I don’t recall seeing the federal government standing at the basement of the tower when our transmission line burned out one day,” the representative from Oregon said. “In January, in a foot of snow, we stood there all night one night. I did and my wife the next night with our engineer trying to fix it.

Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.

"Now, we worked a lot with small business people. And I’ll tell you, because they’re the ones buying advertising in a small town, I’ve been behind the curtain and see the card table with the government paperwork piled up on it, the broken-down chair, the dusty computer where these entrepreneurs are trying day and night to make ends meet and take an idea, a vision they have and create jobs and grow their company and grow their idea.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

“That’s part of the spirit that made America great. And for the president of the United States to say that you didn’t do that, you didn’t build your business was a ‘Joe the Plumber’ moment of 2012.

"It really opened the window into the president’s thinking, which helps explain why his policies don’t work. They are a failure. He’s tried. Things haven’t worked because he doesn’t have a basic understanding of how America works on small business side.”

Walden said the message resonates across the political spectrum.

“This sunk in very deeply not just for the Republicans, but with the men and women who are the small business owners across America,” he said. “Back in my district in Oregon, I can tell you that I’ve run into this just visceral response because it just shows this notion that somehow Washington’s responsible for all the good things and the private sector must be responsible for all the bad things is so offensive that it’s just branded people’s back right now and they’re really upset about it.

"It doesn't really matters whether it’s Republicans or campaign ads. This has entered into the lexicon of things that make you mad if you’re a small business owner.”

Walden acknowledges the idea central in Obama’s comments that the government is responsible for roads and bridges that help businesses thrive but notes there is far more involved.

“You know, they’ve got roads and bridges in North Korea,” he said. “They don’t have a very good private sector in North Korea. So you can have all the roads and bridges and schools and clinics and everything else, but you still need people with the right incentive system to take their ideas and convert those into jobs and profit.

"Profit actually matters in the success of a business and the ability to grow that business. And that’s the part I don’t think he appreciates or understands fully.”

Walden said Obama’s comments were part of a larger picture, one of the president trying and failing.

Editor's Note: Will Obama Be Defeated? Vote Here!

“You know I think it’s all cumulative here and I think Americans realize the president may not be a bad guy and he may have tried it’s just his policies haven’t worked,” he said. “This is a cumulative process over the last three and a half years where at some point somebody has to be held accountable and it’s the president of the United States.

“Look at it. He’s had the United States Senate in his pocket for all of his term and at one point with 60 votes, which is almost unprecedented. He had the House under Speaker Pelosi for two of the four years he’s been in office. He got what he wanted.

"What he got didn’t work and we tried to tell him that in the beginning. I think Americans are just saying, ‘You know it’s time to try something different and it’s okay.’”


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